|Home||Go to the Net||Chapter 9: Using Plain and Persuasive Style|
In Chapter 7, we discuss four different kinds of sentences that are typically found in a paragraph. These include 1) transition sentences, 2) topic sentences, 3) support sentences, and 4) point sentences. Here are some sample paragraphs that use all or some of these kinds of sentences.
In this paragraph, only a topic sentence (the first sentence) and support sentences are included. The topic sentence makes a statement that the remainder of the paragraph will support.
Two methods were used to estimate vaccine effectiveness to account for changes in vaccination status during the influenza outbreak period: a categorical analysis and a person-time analysis. For each method, two estimates of vaccine effectiveness were calculated to account for the unknown protection from vaccine among persons vaccinated <2 weeks before onset of illness, because peak antibody response after influenza vaccination takes approximately 2 weeks and the level of protection during the 1--13 days after vaccination is not known (4,5). In the first estimate, persons vaccinated <2 weeks before illness onset were counted as unvaccinated; in the second estimate, those vaccinated <2 weeks before illness onset were excluded from the analyses.Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preliminary Assessment of the Effectiveness of the 2003--04 Inactivated Influenza Vaccine --- Colorado, December 2003
The paragraph below includes a transition sentence at the beginning. The second sentence sets a claim that the rest of the paragraph supports.
Like other kinds of personal information, some genetic information is more sensitive than other genetic information. Control of some genetic information is more critical for the exercise of personal autonomy, and publication or disclosure of some genetic information can be more damaging or stigmatizing than disclosure of other genetic information. For instance, although height, eye and skin color, and other physical characteristics are inherited and therefore genetic information, such externally-expressed genetic information is not private. On the other hand, knowledge about the presence of a gene that makes it probable that the individual will suffer a debilitating disease later in life is private information, at least until a point in time when symptoms become manifest or the individual intentionally discloses the information.
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, The Genetic Privacy Act and Commentary, George Annas, Leonard Glantz, and Patricia Roche.
This final paragraph has a topic sentence at the beginning and support sentences. It also includes a point sentence at the end that reinforces the claim made in the topic sentence.
Something has happened to the American boys fascination with cars. In the 1960s and 1970s, boys would dream about the day when they would be able to take the wheel of their parents car. They would collect magazines about cars, put car posters on their bedroom walls, and even offer to wash cars for free. On television, boys liked to watch shows like the Dukes of Hazard, Night Rider, Batman, and Speed Racer in which cars were centerpieces in each story. But in the 1980s and 1990s, something happened: Cars were no longer the dream of every boy. Heroes in television shows seemed to be more interested in electronic gadgets, or programming computers to solve problems. Hackers and Webmasters have become the envy of boys, not some mechanic who could soup up a Dodge Diplomat to perfection. These signs point to a change in mens relationships with cars: men are adapting to a world in which the ability to use electronic tools is more appealing than the ability to fix a car engine. They are adapting to a world where the ability to communicate effectively is more important than the ability to stretch the limits of an automobile.